Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life Is Hard.

A while back I shared with you guys about my 50 year old sister-in-law Pamela and her brave fight for life.  Recapping, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002.  She had major surgery and has been receiving treatments off and on and battling with winning results for the last 8 years.  Around Christmas 2009 her platelet counts in her blood kept dropping so she started having treatments for that.  Then she started having to have transfusions. At the beginning of February she came back here because her father-in-law passed away.  (Pam's husband David grew up here too - actually graduated with Mr. Helen - so we two couples are the exact same ages.) After the funeral, when she started her trip back home she got really sick and had to be hospitalized for a week before she could get back to Michigan.  At the beginning of March she was diagnosed with chemotherapy-induced leukemia.  By the end of March we were being told there was nothing to be done anymore and that she would live as long as she could withstand the blood transfusions.

By the end of April she was asking her siblings and her dad to come and visit her.  She wanted to come here in her final days but the doctors absolutely refused to let her travel.  Two weeks ago, family members started rotating out there.  Mr. Helen's oldest sister has been there since the week before Memorial Day and has been calling us daily with updates.  This past Thursday, I arrived home from work and Mr. Helen told me that Pamela's mother-in-law had passed away that day.  All I could think about was David.  What I haven't told you yet is that David had colon cancer.  He had surgery 3 years ago then 2 years ago it recurred.  He had a second surgery but has had some major issues from it.  He still is having treatments because of it. How can this man deal with losing both parents within a few months of each other while his wife battles for her life?

Then Mr. Helen told me Pam was not doing well and he needed to get his tickets to get out there to see her.  Monday morning we bought him tickets to leave on June 10th.  Monday night his other sister called to say that Pam had been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.  Tuesday, the doctor told the sister that Pam is really suffering and can't make it much longer.  Tuesday night we changed Mr. Helen's ticket.

This morning, he flew to Michigan to say his goodbyes.  It is hard to watch your husband weep for his little sister.  Hard.

Our brother-in-law David is flying here to bury his mother on Saturday.  We are hoping and praying fervently that Pamela does not pass away while he is here. 

In the meantime we found out that several of the adult grandchildren had no idea this was going on.  I don't understand why the parents would make the choice not to tell ADULT grandchildren about their Aunt!  I was concerned in particular about Mr. Helen's brother's daughter.  The brother is a teensy bit estranged from the family (his choice) and sometimes goes for months without contacting his daughter or granddaughter.  This girl is like a second child to me.  She and my daughter are the same age - in fact, when they were younger they were best friends - inseparable.

So, this morning, I called her.  She knew nothing.  I had to tell her everything.  It is hard to hear your niece weep for an Aunt who is also her daughter's Godmother.  Hard.

Life is hard when you have to deal with death and loss. Hard.

25 comments:

  1. My friend is going through something similar with not being told about sickness and dying in her family. She was told rather abruptly and casually about her grandfather dying and now was told that grandma is dying and has been for quite some time but no one thought to tell her. They are fairly close. Strange how familys can be sometimes. I wish your family well!

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  2. I am so sorry to hear all this sadness around you. I hope and pray the best for you all. It is a lot to bear.

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  3. I am so sorry to hear about all the sad events going on around you and Mr. Helen right now. Family's can be strange. Sometimes it takes sadness to get them to appreciate exactly what they have. Prayers to you and your loved ones today.

    xoxo

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  4. {{HUGS}}
    Lots to take on for one family.
    XXOO

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  5. That is so much loss for one family to bear - my prayers are with you all. I think families do what they think is best in terms of sharing information, but its beyond my comprehension to see how not giving loved ones a chance to say goodbye is best. I've been there & it does so much damage to the remaining relationships. I can only imagine how it was for you to make that phone call, but for her sake I'm glad you made the decision to do it. My heart goes out to all of you.

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  6. This brought tears to my eyes - what an awful series of sadness. I'm so sorry for everything that is happening. Thinking of you and your family, Helen.

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  7. Oh, Helen. You and your family will be in my thoughts today. I am so sorry that there is so much pain and loss in your life right now.

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  8. Hugs and prayers to you and your family, Helen. Life really is so hard and painful at times. These times serve to remind us that life is too short for petty estrangements and holding on to resentments. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I'll be thinking of you all.

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  9. Wow- it's stories like this that make you realize that first, life is too short, and second, no matter how bad I think it is, someone out there in the world is dealing with more than anything I could possibly handle. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  10. Oh my gosh, really puts things like me being pissed my group exercise class didn't have an instructor this morning into perspective!

    I am so sorry to hear about all of this, but do remember talking about your sister in law. That is a heavy burden for her husband losing both parents, and essentially losing not only his wife but possibly himself in the end. So sad.

    I am glad Mr. Helen was able to change his ticket - my thoughts are with you and your family - sending huge virtual hugs your way Helen!!

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  11. I'm so sorry!!!!

    Cancer SUCKS! :(

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  12. I am so sorry about all this going on in your family right now. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  13. {{{{{HUGS]]]]]]
    XXX
    I'm hoping that you're going to be able to have everything work out as best it can. Gather your family with words or arms.

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  14. Helen,
    I am so sorry to hear that you and your family are having to go through so much. I can't begin to imagine the pain that you all are feeling. Please know that I will be going, confidently, before the throne room of grace for your family. God is sovereign, loving, holy, compassionate, etc. When things don't make sense, I always remind myself... God is also good!!!

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  15. This is sad. My heart breaks for you and Mr. Helen, however, I was totally confused with the Aunts, 2nd cousins, first daughter's son.
    But then, I'm old.
    Am thinking of you guys!

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  16. Wow...that is about as heavy as it gets...so sorry for your family's woes...draw strength from wherever you can...and faith that there is a plan.

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  17. I'm so sorry, too. Loss is really rotten.

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  18. Helen, I am so very sorry to read this. You have really had a rough year, and I feel so sorry for David, Pam, and the rest of the family.

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  19. I am so sorry for pam and her husband. That is almost too much. I say almost because I like to believe God never gives us too much to handle...with the support of friends and loved ones.
    I will be praying for you and your family in the upcoming days, and that pam hangs on till he gets home.

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  20. I'm so very, very sorry. This just breaks my heart. So much sadness for one family. Almost seems like more than one can bear.

    Take care sweet Helen. Take care of Mr. Helen. He'll need you now more than ever. You're in my prayers.

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  21. I am so sorry. My prayers are with your family.

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  22. I just saw your note about Pam's passing. You and the whole family are in my thoughts and prayers. I cannot imagine David's grief right now. Praying for God's love to fill the vacancy. . .

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  23. I am so sorry.

    I can offer you big virtual hugs.

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